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Unleashing the innovation potential of public transport as backbone of urban mobility: UPPER project launches

  • Global
  • European Research projects
  • Sustainability
  • Urban mobility
Spearheading a public transport revolution

Cities play a pivotal role in achieving climate neutrality by 2050, the goal of the European Green Deal.

To accelerate the transition towards climate neutrality in cities, UITP is proud to announce the launch of UPPER, the new EU-project seeking to put public transport at the centre of the mobility ecosystem. UPPER (Unleashing the Potential of Public transport in EuRope) aims at spearheading a public transport revolution that will strengthen its role as the flagship of sustainability and innovation of mobility in cities. The project will be very strongly linked with the goals of the Cities Mission and supports the transition towards zero-emission mobility which will become the cornerstone of climate-neutrality by 2030.

UPPER is launched across a two-day Conference taking place in Brussels (24 and 25 January 2023). The project gathers a strong consortium of 41 partners including various UITP members, from across the public transport sector. It is coordinated by UITP and will run over the course of four years.

To strengthen the role of public transport as the backbone of mobility in cities is of the utmost essence to address pollution, emissions and congestion. UITP is proud to coordinate UPPER and to work with our members, project partners, the EC and CINEA, and the wider mobility community on this important project that will benefit not only public transport users, but society as a whole.
Umberto Guida
Head of Projects Strategy, UITP
Implementing 84 measures in 10 cities

UPPER will implement a combination of measures looking to push people out of private cars and to pull them closer to public transport. These measures will aim to increase the share of public transport and will cover different market segments. A big spotlight in UPPER will be on participative governance and involving citizens, ensuring decisions are made in concert with and cater to the needs of different target groups.

The 84 pull and push measures will act on the five ‘innovation axes’ that condition users’ choices:

  • Mindset and culture
  • Urban mobility planning
  • Mobility services ecosystem
  • Road network management
  • Democratic governance

The measures will be tested in the UPPER Living Labs (Valencia, Rome, Ile de France, Oslo and Mannheim) and the UPPER Twinning Cities (Lisbon, Leuven, Hannover Region, Budapest and Thessaloniki) across Europe and will be adapted to the local context and objectives. While in Rome, UPPER will test the inclusion of new mobility services in multimodal interchange nodes; in Île-de-France (one of) the measures will focus on promoting the use of public transport in large events; in Mannheim UPPER will establish participative governance and dialogue formats to address special needs of citizens.

The UPPER measures will be supported by the UPPER Toolkit (U-TWIN, U-SIM, U-NEED, U-GOV, U-KNOW, U-TRANSFER and U-SUMP), seven IT tools combining social and technological innovation that will be demonstrated in the UPPER Living Labs and Twinning sites.

The overall goal of Living Labs and Twinning Cities will be to increase the use of public transport by >30% and the user satisfaction by >25%, leaving nobody behind in the process.

Ruter’s vision is to develop sustainable freedom of movement for all. This is a good match with the goals of UPPER, and we will use our participation in the project to work on the integration of shared and active modes of transport.
Kristoffer Westad
Area Manager at Ruter, Oslo (UPPER Living Lab)
Bringing together our sector...

To advance the sector

To achieve its ambitious goals, UPPER brings together organisations representing all key actors of the public transport ecosystem. This while ensuring a balanced EU geographical coverage and a representative group of cities covering a wide spectrum in terms of size, public transport usage, air pollution, mobility services and level of maturity of their Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs).

The project is looking to ease cooperation among authorities and operators and offer a physical and digital environment to test the measures, update the existing SUMPs, and optimise the public transport offer, in line with user needs and patterns.

The UPPER website will be launched soon, so stay tuned!

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